Adrian Freaking Beltre

I often wonder if Adrian Beltre always had this much fun playing baseball. In full disclosure, I knew very little of AB before he got to Texas. When I started covering the Rangers predominately in 2007, he was with the Mariners. I heard the name, knew the numbers, but that was about it. He spent one season in Boston, and then Jon Daniels made perhaps the best decision of his professional career.

I will never forget that press conference. I was asked to do a one-on-one interview with Beltre after his introduction. I was terrified. I have no idea why, but I was so intimidated by him. (Thank goodness he doesn’t know how to work the internet, so he will never read this). He was effusive in his praise for his former organizations, he was respectful of his former and soon-to-be teammates (one in particular—looking at you, MY), and he was genuinely happy to be a Texas Ranger.

I left that interview feeling as if we were best friends…BAHAHAHAHAHA! Truth: I was scared shitless of Adrian Beltre for at least two years. Honestly. It wasn’t his fault. He was always courteous and respectful and willing to do whatever was asked of him. But there was something about him that was intimidating…an aura that is difficult to describe. Fast forward seven years later, and now I know why.

<Insert cheesy instrumental music here>

Because he’s special. He gets it. He always knows what to say and do. He does all the little things that people don’t even realize he’s doing, but still they can feel the effects of those actions without even knowing he’s responsible for them. It’s like he’s a ninja sniper superhero! Not sure if that even makes sense, but it’s the best analogy I’ve got at this point?!?

I can’t remember exactly when I stopped being terrified of him, but it probably involved him yelling at me, which is the highest compliment in the baseball clubhouse world. And in the years since then I have marveled at him ( I know, so cheesy, but bear with me). Seeing how he goes about his work, cares for his family, his teammates, his job, this organization and its fan base, and does it all while playing at the most ridiculous level of baseball is something to behold.

I interviewed him for a Rangers Foundation event a couple of years ago, and it went something like this:

Me: Adrian, I tell people all the time that even if they don’t like baseball, they should come to a game, sit on the third base side and do nothing but watch you from the first pitch to the final out, and they’ll get their money’s worth. What do you think about that?

Adrian: I think you’re weird. Why would you say that?

<Crowd erupts in laughter, of course>

Me: Because it’s the truth.

And it is.

Beltre’s “on-deck-circle-dragging-ejection” this week was further proof of that. He’s dressed as a clubbie and shined shoes in the dugout while on the DL, he’s played patty cake on the base paths with opposing base runners, he’s danced in the batter’s box, and gone to one knee on a home run so many times it’s become his signature. All the while, he’s played this game and his position as the highest level possible…and doing it while having more fun than any human should be allowed.

So as Adrian Beltre closes in on 3,000 career hits—the most ever by a Dominican-born player—I would like to say thank you. Thank you for making the last seven years fun, regardless of score or outcome. Thank you for working your ass off for your team and your family. Thank you for setting the tone in that clubhouse. I will forever be grateful for all of it.

Me laughing hysterically at something Adrian Beltre has said.

To The Mom Criticizing Other Moms For Letting Their Kids Watch iPads In Restaurants…

I’ll make this brief, as I’m trying to limit my screen time.

I’m one of those moms. You don’t know me. That’s the point. How do you know I haven’t been momming so hard all day—with crafts and activities and field trips—that all I want to do is sit down at MiCocina and have a Mambo Taxi and some adult conversation without a thousand “mommies” being hurled my way???

I’m not saying that’s always the case, but sometimes it is. Regardless, it’s none of your business!!!

And how do you know what my kids are doing on their iPads? Last time I checked, they’re issuing them in schools these days. My 6-year-old and 4-year-old are learning to read and spell on theirs. Don’t get me wrong, they are also watching plenty of Trolls and playing their fair share of Minecraft, kind of like I did with Scooby Doo and Frogger when I was little. Not trying to defend the iPad (maybe I am), but it’s not like they’re playing with asbestos at the dinner table here!

You are obviously entitled to your opinion, as I am mine, but unless something my children are doing directly affects you, you can save your breath and your keystrokes. Don’t worry, my kids wear headphones, so you can’t hear a thing.

I would be far more concerned with my children’s attempt to shame and judge others with their words and looks than a little extra screen time at a restaurant.

I’m so glad you have this whole parenting thing squared away, but on behalf of those of us who are still trying to figure it out, KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR OWN PAPER!!!

PS–I also let my kids watch their iPads while eating goldfish in my bed. Deal with it!

Give These Fools A Chance

It seems everyone these days has an opinion…on everything. Not only that, everyone now has a platform (or eight) in which to share said opinions. I’m all for it. It used to be that the only people who were able to have their opinions be heard were those who had a “proper platform”. Now you can create your own platform, jump onto other people’s platforms, and even switch platforms midstream. All’s fair in love, war and social media.

In that vain, I would like to share my thoughts on the new-look Rangers broadcast team. Let me start by saying I love Tom Grieve. I adore Steve Busby. Jim Knox is as good a dude you’ll find in this business, or anywhere for that matter. My former producer—Kurt Deichert—became a dear friend while working together for the better part of a decade.

Change is hard. I get it. I’m am one of the most resistant-to-change people you will ever meet. It’s comfortable to be that way, and who doesn’t like comfort? I mean, seriously. So when more than a few changes were made to the Rangers television broadcast in the off season, I wasn’t sure how to take them. I was sad because I wouldn’t be working with people I had worked alongside for so many years and so many great moments, people who taught me so much and helped me get the sweetest spot in my professional life.

I assume this is how much of the Rangers fan base was left feeling, as well. Sad. Because they forged relationships with the guys who they let in their living room every night. Even if they didn’t actually know the people on the other side of the screen, they felt like they did…and that’s a testament to the job they did.

Now back to that opinion you’ve all been dying to hear. (If there was a sarcasm font available, I definitely would’ve used it on the previous sentence 😉 So here it is:

Dave Raymond and CJ Nitkowski are good at what they do. Very good. They ma y be different than what you are used to, but they are smart and talented and highly qualified to do what they do. And you know what else? They care. They are about the Rangers. They care about you, as fans. They care what you think. And maybe it’s the Mother Hen coming out in me, but I feel the need to provide a little defense here.

The two of them are working their tails off to learn everything they can about this organization—it’s history, it’s players, it’s employees (CJ asks me every day the name of a different employee he sees in the media dining room). And I know for a fact they respond to the vast majority—if not all—of the feedback they get, both positive and negative.

My point is, they are doing it right. We are all trying to. Lord knows my comedic stylings in the stands are a far cry from Jim Knox, but I’m doing my best. The new—and old—faces in the production truck are working every day to bring the best perspective possible to our telecasts.

No one likes criticism, but if you’re a rational human being, you get it (even though it sucks), so I’m not asking for unicorns and rose petals for me or my new teammates, just don’t be so stuck in your ways that you can’t even see anything different. All I’m asking is that you give these fools a chance, all of us.

Dave Raymond, Me & CJ Nitkowski before our first Spring Training game in Surprise, Arizona.

Random Observation: The beach is so amazing, but can you imagine how cool it would be if there was no sand?!?!

Recipe: Download the FAVOR app on your smart phone, order from your favorite restaurant and have it delivered to your house. Listen, it’s baseball season. My ability to mail it in on dinner knows no bounds.

How My Mother In Law And Rougned Odor Kept Me Out Of Retirement

They say timing is everything. I’m not sure who “they” are, but they’re right. I was supposed to be knee-deep into retirement right now, instead, I’m gearing up for yet another run on the roller coaster ride known as a Major League Baseball season. I planned on retiring after last season. It seemed like the right time, the right decision for my family.

The 2015 season was a tough one. My kids were in the midst of what I fondly refer to as the “asshole stage”—I mean that in the most loving way possible—which made everything just a little more difficult than it already was…and by a little, I mean a lot ;). So after 2015, I decided 2016 would be my last season. I wanted to give myself, my family and our support system a finish line. I felt like we all needed it.

Among my numerous character flaws is my reluctance to ask for help. But when you have two kids, a husband who works and a job that revolves around nights and weekends, you really have no choice but to ask for help—and a lot of it. I’ve gotten better about it over time, but the struggle is real. So when my kids were in the midst of the anatomy stage I mentioned previously, the mommy guilt reached an all-time high.

For those unfamiliar with mommy guilt, I’m certain it’s not exclusive to moms who work outside the home, but I do know it’s more prevalent and talked about ad nauseam among working moms. It’s the constant worry that you’re missing something in your children’s lives that they’re sure to never forgive you for—the class party, the baseball game, the bedtime story—and the ensuing feeling of guilt that makes you want to vomit. Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

I figured if I hung up the microphone, I wouldn’t have to ask for near as much help and my mommy guilt would disappear. I was so sure about my decision I informed the Rangers when I signed my contract that 2016 would be it and even recommended a replacement. I told those close to me, and even convinced myself I was ready. After all, I was pushing 40 (emphasis on pushing), and half these dudes are young enough to be my nephews 😉

Then in March of last year, my daddy died. Rocked my world. To say the two of us were close would be like saying Adrian Beltre has a marginally good time playing baseball. The two weeks between his death and the start of baseball season were the most difficult of my life. By the time Opening Day rolled around, I couldn’t wait to get to the ballpark. I welcomed the structure and the atmosphere in that clubhouse. I needed that. I needed the distraction. I needed normal, and the controlled chaos of a Major League Baseball season is my normal.

The season played on, and I held firm to my retirement plans…until the last week of August. That’s when I got a call from my mother in law. She said she wanted to talk to me, soon and in person. She came over the next evening and made quite the sales pitch.

Her message went something like this: I don’t buy for one second that you’re ready to walk away from this job. You’re doing this because you think it’s what’s best for everyone around you, but what you don’t realize is that we want to help. We don’t view it as a chore. Your work situation gives us an added dimension to our relationships with the kids that we wouldn’t have otherwise.

The “we” my mother in law was referring to is the army of people who help care for our kiddos. For some, it takes a village. For us, it takes an army. The words she said that night affected me in a way I wasn’t prepared for, and for the first time in months, doubt crept into my mind that I might not be making the right decision. Two days later, Rougie walked it off against the Mariners, and that creeping doubt was flat out stalking me.

If you don’t remember the game, Rougie put his team in a bind by running into an out on the bases late in the game (his second of the night), drawing the ire of one Adrian Beltre in the dugout. I remember watching him make that walk to the dugout, tail tucked between his legs, obviously knowing his mistake long before AB gave him a love tap on the cheek and reminded him of the fine line between aggressive and reckless base running. Growing pains can be a bitch.

The Rangers trailed 7-6 headed in to the bottom of the 9th. Beltre led off with a single, setting up the perfect atonement opportunity for Odor. And he delivered with a shot to straightaway center field to give the Rangers a 8-7 walkoff win over the Mariners. He was mobbed at home plate by his teammates in what had to have been a celebration equal parts joy and relief.

Still out of breath, Rougie gave—in my opinion—his best interview ever. He was relaxed. He was confident. He was honest about his mistake and effusive in his praise for Adrian Beltre and the lessons he has taught him. It was the Rougned Odor I see on a daily basis….and it was a far cry from the timid young man who arrived in Arlington a couple of years ago, so sure of his baseball talents but so unsure of how to communicate with the media and fans, in general.

As we walked up the tunnel that night (cue the sappy music here), I hugged him so big and told him how perfect that interview was and how proud I was of him.

His response? “Really, Emmy?”

Mine? “Really, Rougie.” And then I might have gotten something in my eye. Don’t judge.

Anyway, the point is this. That moment—sandwiched in between that back porch conversation with my mother in law and a Thai lunch with Jon Daniels—made me realize how much I love my job and that I wasn’t ready to hang it up just yet. The right time will come, I’m just not quite sure yet when that will be. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the ride and let my gratitude grow for those who love my family and keep my mommy guilt at a manageable level.

Let the shit show begin again!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Random Thought: Why do people insist on telling you about their March Madness brackets? Is this what people without kids feel like when I talk to them about mine???


10-Minute Turkey Tacos

1 lb. ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
1 jar taco sauce
Uncle Ben’s 90-second Mexican rice
Shredded cheese
Grape tomatores

Brown turkey. Add seasoning and sauce to taste.
Warm tortillas in foil in the oven.
Top with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and avocado.
Heat rice up in the microwave.


Where’s My Party At???

If you want to hear the political musings of a middle-aged, people-loving, news-avoiding mother of two, you have come to the right place. If that sentence in itself makes your skin crawl (which it very well may), do yourself a favor and stop reading now.


1. I don’t watch the news. In fact, I avoid it at all costs. It’s depressing. I’d rather watch trash TV (looking at you, Real Housewives) to take my mind off of all the real shit going on in the world. Selfish? Sure. Irresponsible? Probably. But that’s the truth.

2. I’ve voted Democrat and Republican in my life, which makes me able to piss off twice as many people as I would’ve otherwise.

3. I am not educated enough to speak on policies, foreign or domestic. Maybe this shit show will cause me to change that…but probably not. Let’s be real. I barely have time to read an US Weekly these days, and honestly the thought of it sounds exhausting. Again, just being real here.

So most of my “news” comes from social media…and what a disaster that is. So much misinformation and snark and hatefulness. It’s gross. I admire the hell out of the people who educate themselves so that they can have an informed opinion on what is going on, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s a small percentage relative to those who position themselves as knowing the totality of what they post and comment on.

To those who have educated themselves—and used those facts to form opinions absent of a political affiliation—props to you. Mad props to you. You have taken the time to do the research, open your mind, formulate a thought, and share it with others. I wish there were more like you, so you could help educate me. But right now, I can’t see the educated forest for the uneducated trees. And if you think I’m talking about your side, you’re wrong—and right—because I’m talking about both.

Instead of searching for articles and opinions that align with yours, how about seeking out information that challenges you to consider another point of view? And for goodness sake, at the very least take the time to read the information you’re sharing and make sure it’s coming from a legitimate source.

To those who feel moved to stand up and be heard and seen—good on you. I hope you feel empowered and that those around you feel the same. We all have causes, and whatever yours is, get behind it. Whole heartedly. But remember that someone else my have a cause different than yours, and they feel equally as strong.

I’ve come to realize in the last few weeks/months/years (hell, all my life), that I really don’t know much, but here’s what I do know. I can control what goes on in my house. I can teach my kids to be kind and tolerant and forgiving and open-minded. I can teach them that the things that make us different are what makes this crazy sphere go round and round, that this life would be so freaking boring if we all thought and believed and acted alike. I can teach them to hold strong in their beliefs, and at the same time, let others hold strong in theirs. We all come from different places—literally and figuratively—so we are bound to have different experiences that mold us into the people we are and the beliefs that we have. Embrace that, but always be respectful of others doing the same damn thing.

I can do good things in my little part of this world. I can give of my time, my money and my deeds to better my community. I can treat people with acceptance and kindness. I can try to help those who need it. Damn, that sounds hokey, but oh well, that’s about all I’ve got in me. I’m going to do my best to make my little bubble a little better and hope you ass-kicking, world-changers take care of the rest, knowing all the while those changes might not be in line with everything I believe.

In the meantime, I’ll keep being a fence-riding, smut TV-watching mom trying to raise her kids not to be assholes while trying to do a little bit of good in my community.

Heaven help these two–and their mom 😉

Random Thought: Why are they still playing the Pro Bowl?

Recipe: Order craft pizza–people will think you’re fancy. I told you I’m terrible at cooking. It’s important to have a good go-to craft pizza delivery. You’re welcome.

3 Things I’ve Learned From My 3-Year-Old Daughter

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen a number of posts with the hashtag #hotmessHattie. They have taken on a bit of a life of their own, mostly because this three-year-old ray of sunshine embodies everything that hashtag implies. I thank God everyday that she’s mine—as challenging as she might be—because her gifts are unending, her smile is infectious, and the lessons she has taught me are unlike anything I’ve ever learned.

1. Stop worrying so much…about the little things. The way your hair looks. The clothes you wear—even if they’re on backwards. More days than not, she comes downstairs in the morning fully clothed (not matching and usually backwards or inside out), hair a mess.

Me: Hattie, your shirt is on backwards.
Hattie: I know.
Me: You want me to fix it for you?
Hattie: Nope. I’m good.

Nope. I’m good. What a beautiful concept. My three-year-old telling me, “Let me do me, Mommy.”

And I do. Not sure that’s the right parenting move, but I do. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? Not to me and surely not to her. You do you, Hattie. And I’ll watch you with love and admiration at every turn.

PS–she also brushes her teeth most mornings, which garners a tremendous amount of leeway 😉

2. Love…a lot and without condition. This child loves, and she loves hard. She is convicted in her compassion, and that compassion knows no bounds or qualifiers. She is untouched by cynicism or the influence of others. I pray it stays that way always, that she remains unaffected by any outside factors that would teach her otherwise. That may be my biggest challenge as her mother–to give her the room to let her develop into the person SHE wants to be, because that is something we should all be afforded.

3. Go crazy (maybe not at bedtime ;)…but go crazy! Dance and sing and laugh and lose your shit, because why not??? What good does bottling up all that fun and excitement and entertainment do anyone? So cliche, but life is too short to walk around with a stick up your ass trying to do what everyone else thinks is right or proper. Let your hair down (even though you barely have enough for a ponytail), rock that sheepskin vest with no shirt underneath, sing to the top of your lungs to the Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down”. I will always be your adoring audience.

Thank you, Hattie McCoy, for challenging me as a person and a parent, for showing me the lessons that can be learned through the unfiltered mind and heart of a child. I love you.

#hotmessHattie at her finest!

Random Thought: If you are unwilling to see the shortcomings of “your side” (whatever side that may be), you are denying yourself the opportunity to solidify and strengthen your stance. Open your eyes to see and your ears to hear the thoughts and feelings of those who differ from you. You might be surprised.

Recipe: Pick up to-go from your favorite Mexican food restaurant (they always pack it in those neat little disposable aluminum containers), stick it in the oven, and serve at dinner time! (Don’t judge–I’ve been very up front about my culinary inadequacies 😉


To The Fashion Critic At The Grocery Store Today…

Let me start this by saying I wasn’t in the best frame of mind this morning. I left town Thursday and got home just as Sunday was becoming Monday. I didn’t get much sleep because my OCD was thinking about all the things I needed to do today before my kids woke up. Highly productive, I know. I spent my first couple of waking hours juggling phone calls between American Airlines, DirecTV and Thermador. Don’t ask. Not looking for sympathy–ok, maybe just a little–but also trying to set the scene 😉

In the midst of resetting breakers and rescheduling flights, I realize the available sustenance for my kids’ lunch consisted of granola bars, apple sauce and GoGurt. So I did what any legitimate candidate for Mother of the Year would do…I took the kids to the grocery store and went straight to the Lunchable aisle. Don’t judge.

As we were making our way to the checkout, we ran into a woman–we’ll call her Fashion Critic–who felt inclined to share her thoughts. Here’s how it went:

Fashion Critic: Well aren’t those some interesting outfits.

Me: Yup. They’ve got minds of their own.

Fashion Critic: How old are they?

Me: 5 (Henry) and 3 (Hattie).

Fashion Critic: That’s awfully early to lose control. <Insert smug smile>

At that very moment, I wanted to burst into tears–because that’s what I do when I’m really pissed. I cry. Weird, I know. And then I wanted to tell her to suck it. Mature, I know. I didn’t do either. Shocking, I know. I gritted my teeth and told her to have a nice day in the bitchiest tone I could muster.

What I wish I would’ve said was this:

“Listen, lady. Mind your own business. I honestly don’t care what my kids wear at home, to school, to the grocery store, pretty much anywhere. They like to dress themselves. They rarely match. Sometimes their clothes are a little baggy. I. Don’t. Care. You know what I do care about? The fact that my three-year-old daughter ran downstairs this morning to tell me she had already brushed her teeth and combed her hair. Then beaming with pride, she told me she had already picked out her clothes for school and dressed herself. I told her she looked beautiful and how proud I was of her for doing all of that by herself. Sounds like a total loss of control, huh?”

Listen, my kids aren’t anywhere close to perfect or even easy. They challenge me everyday in more ways than I knew were possible. But I’m thankful for that–or at least I’m trying to be. I know their stubbornness and independence are parts of their personalities, and I’m trying to let them develop without smothering them with my OCD (easier said than done). It’s actually therapeutic for me as a control freak to let my little people express their fashion freedom in whatever way they see fit. I fight a lot of battles as a mom, and this is one I will gladly concede.

If you dress your kids to the nines everyday, awesome. To each his own. Different strokes for different folks. All those cliches. Every family is different, and whatever works for yours is all that matters. This parenting thing is hard enough without everybody and their mother giving you their thoughts on how you’re raising your kids.

Ok, rant over. Just one more thing to that fashion critic at the grocery store this morning…

Suck it, lady. I’m doing the best I can. Have a nice day!

My little fashionistas

My little fashionistas

Random Thought:

Keep your eyes on your own paper. It doesn’t just apply to test taking.


Go grab a rotisserie chicken and pre-made side dish out of that heated kiosk in the grocery store and grab some fresh broccoli. Heat and eat. Don’t judge. It’s what’s for dinner at my house tonight.

Gourmet meal at the McCoy house

Gourmet meal at the McCoy house.

Here’s The Deal…

I got doused with Powerade after the Rangers’ win over the Red Sox on Sunday. If you don’t follow the Rangers, you’re probably not aware that this is the Rangers’ bit. After every home win—for at least the last calendar year—they drench the guy doing the post game interview (or interviews) with a bucket full of Powerade. It’s what they do.

I’m not exactly sure why they do it. Check that, I do know. Because they think it’s fun. And it’s a long season. And they’re happy they won a game. And beyond that? Who cares? You might. I don’t. And neither do the 25 guys who actually play the games—and who actually get drenched.

You think it’s tired? Cool.

You think it’s over played? Awesome.

But it doesn’t matter. They dig it, and they’re going to keep doing it as long as they’re winning. These “overplayed” celebrations have no impact on anything—except the post-game interviews—and let’s be real, these aren’t exactly State of the Union addresses. Don’t get me wrong. I do my best to bring something to the post-game table, but in reality, people don’t want to hear from me, they want to hear from the players. And this is the Rangers’ post-game victory language.

I get those who look at it as a “respect issue”, and I appreciate those who are mindful of that and concerned about that, especially with the male-female dynamic. I’m sure that’s a factor in some of these post-game celebration cases, but it never is and never has been with me and the Rangers.

I take my job seriously, but I don’t take myself seriously. I’ve been around this team for a long time, and I have never felt disrespected by any of their post-game shenanigans. I have spent more hours than I can count in that clubhouse, talking to those guys—about baseball, about their families, about stupid stuff. I consider them friends (gasp!), and friends play tricks on each other. I like bits. Bits are fun.

The day before Rougned Odor got me, I poured a cup of ice cold water down his back during an interview in the dugout during batting practice. It was funny. Maybe not to you, but it was to those of us that were in the dugout—Rougie included.

Sunday, I brought a knife to a gun fight, pulling out my silly string to take on giant coolers full of Powerade and water. It didn’t work out quite the way I had envisioned, and I got soaked. Oh well. Who cares? I don’t. And if I don’t, you probably shouldn’t either.

Photo courtesy of Alan Rose

Photo courtesy of Alan Rose

Random Thought:

If you’re going to do the wave, please don’t do it in a close game.


Miss Vicky’s Easy Chicken & Veggies


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 dozen baby carrots
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 package of zesty Italian dressing mix


Place all the ingredients in a large casserole dish and cover with foil. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Seriously. That’s it. Enjoy!


If you haven’t heard of Rougned Odor by now, just google his name. You’ll find hundreds of articles–most of which have been written in the last 24 hours and focus on that wicked blow he laid on Jose Bautista in the Blue Jays-Rangers game on May 15.

Since then, conclusions have been drawn as to what kind of player and person that incident makes him. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and feelings about the situation and the person.

I’m not trying to dispute any of that.

I’m not trying to defend any situation.

I’m not trying to defend any one person.

I do, however, want to tell you about the Rougie I know and have known since he broke into the Major Leagues with the Rangers two years ago. So if you’re not interested in that, cool. Stop reading 🙂

Full disclosure. I have covered the Rangers for more than a decade. I am currently their dugout reporter. I am a currently contract employee of the Rangers organization. I am a giant homer, and I make no apologies for that. I am in that clubhouse 100+ days over the course of a 162-game season, and those dudes in that room make it hard NOT to root for them. So there it is. All out in the open.

Now to Rougie. When I first met him, he was guarded—sure of himself but a bit uncertain as to how to handle the media aspect of being a Big Leaguer. I remember one of my first conversations with him. He told me how important it was to him to be able to speak English in his interviews, but he wasn’t comfortable. He was afraid he would say the wrong thing, that he would be misunderstood. He was driven by the example that Elvis Andrus set in establishing himself as player that could be counted on between the lines, as well as in post-game press conferences.

He worked tirelessly with Spanish broadcaster Eleno Orneles to improve his English. I can’t even count the number of conversations we’ve had over the last two years about how important it is to him that he be able to speak without a translator. And now he does. He speaks freely, much like the way he plays. He worked his ass off to get to that point, just like he worked his ass off to get back to the Big Leagues after being sent down to the minors last year. So if you’re going to judge him by a Jose Bautista right hook and a minor league melee, factor those things into your equation as well. And throw in his willingness to do just about anything to put a smile on anyone’s face, particularly if they’re shorter than him, aka kids ;).

Rougned Odor is not a thug. He is not an a-hole. He plays hard. All the time. And with a lot of emotion. Sometimes those emotions run a little high, playing a fiercely competitive game with extremely high stakes. But who am I to judge? I lose my shit on a regular basis sitting in a camera well. And you know what may be the greatest thing about Rougie? He’s not concerned about his reputation outside his clubhouse–to him, that’s the only one that matters.

I know what you’re thinking—I’d have a different take on Rougie if he wasn’t on my team. Maybe you’re right. But he is on my team, and I can say with certainty that the guys who wear the same jersey as Rougned Odor feel the same way.

Just my two cents, which is about all it’s worth. #uptop


Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus with my son, Henry.

About Emily

Emily Jones McCoy is the dugout reporter for the Texas Rangers, owner and co-founder of Posh Play, consultant for Scout & Cellar, NewULife, and Rodan+Fields She is also president of the Do It For Durrett Foundation and has authored two children’s books. She has a husband (Mike), two children (Henry & Hattie), and a very small filter. You’ve been warned.